I'm 36 years old, fell from 30' rock formation bouldering when I was 16 years old.
I thought I'd died- hit head on the fall, knocked out on the way down, knocked 'in' when I hit the rocks, could hear the girls I was with screaming their heads off because they also thought I'd died.
The grown ups from the church group I was with, checked my arms and legs, said I hadn't broken anything, so they had me get up and hobble back to camp and put me on an air mattress.
I didn't cry, the girls with me were all younger and totally hysterical after seeing me fall. They asked me if I was okay, I said I was fine, just hurt, wanted to go to sleep,etc. They bandaged up my hands (tore them up grabbing a rock to stop myself as I fell, it didn't work), told me I'd had a concussion, I had a huuuge goose egg on my head and a vollyball sized black bruise on my bum.
Then they went about the rest of the day's activities.
I was definitely in shock, my head felt super foggy. When we drove out later, I felt EVERY rock in the long dirt road, and every mile back to civilization.
They dropped me off at the church, my bro picked me up, hollered at me when I tried to put the seat back down.
I never cried until I saw my mom, and when she saw the mess that was me, she laughed and said, "what happened to you?" My sister, who'd been on the trip but not there when it happened said, "I think she tripped or something?"
I told her what had happened, she said that if that had happened they'd have taken me to the hospital. That was a revelation to my sluggish mind, why DIDN'T they take me to the hospital?
My dad had just lost his job, no medical insurance, I nagged to be taken to the hospital, my mom yelled at me.
Finally my dad called the hospital for advise, they said wake me up every 2 hours that night so I wouldn't slip into a coma, I woke up the next morning and felt hurt that they didn't wake me up once, they responded, "well you didn't did you?"
Went to church the next day, school the day after that, with a pillow (I must be attention-seeking) cuz it hurt so bad to sit.
The subject was taboo for most of the next 2 decades in my family, eye rolls, you're so 'dramatic', 'isn't she such a hypochondriac' type stuff if I ever mentioned that it hurt.
It wasn't until about 5 years later that I got a good x-ray (had an x-ray from folks' new hmo when they got ins again, I nagged and nagged, they 'oops!; took film of my lungs instead of spine, "but it's probably healed by now anyway") and discovered the compression fractures to T11 and L1, my skull is 'cocked to the side and jammed on my atlas", a big s curve, twisted and tilted pelvis.
First MRI 14 years after, found bulgie discs at L4-L5 & L5-S1 (the latter is worse).
I've hearniated discs I don't know how many times, made up a song "it only hurts if you let it" once I had to walk home 3 miles from work when I'd herniated it.
I DISSOCIATE big time from my body to cope, and can look totally normal from the outside until the pain hits around a 7 or 8 (my pain scale is more of a what can I hide scale, but anything 6 or under and I can hide it super well).
I just always wondered why I was always breaking out my fillings and my scalp would sometimes flake off- realized lately that I grind my teeth and dig my nails into my head when I'm in pain, I didn't even know I did that forEVER.
I just had anothe MRI (herniated L5-S1 again), and am getting my first epidural injections thursday and was totally devistated yesterday when my GP said 'don't be surprised if it doesn't work, I don't think it's your discs'.
I'm a mom of 3 little monky-boys 2, 4 and 6 years old, and have a wonderful husband who's worst pain is getting sick with a cold maybe once a year, and some shoulder pain when he plays basket ball. Poor man has no idea how to help me.
Before my epiphany a month ago, (OMW, I'm a person with a bad back, who can act normal, not a normal person with unhidable pain sometimes), I'm so much more aware of the pain in my head, neck upper, mid and lower back, bum, legs front and back, knees and feet, the numbness in my feet and pinky fingers, etc.
I'm trying to figure all of this out, but I have such suffocating ANXIETY about letting people see it all. Even my husband, who I can hide the least from, since I can hold a lot together in public but it crashes down around me at home.
I admitted to him this morning that if thursdays injections don't work, I'm very tempted to just stuff it all back in, detach from my body and pretend it did again, so I can stop being a worthless burden on everyone. I asked him if he'd rather I did that, and was justly punished for that silly question by the honest admission that part of him would. I can't really blame him, he works a full day and then, this past month or so that I've not forced myself to do what I could squeeze out of myself no matter what pain, does a lot of my work when he gets home: laundry, dishes, feeding and bathing the boys, etc. I help as I can, but if I stay in my body, I can't do much. I hate this.
It was so devistating when the GP suggested that yesterday, I'd begun to let myself think about what it might be like to have less pain, even if it were just the ice pick pain in L5-S1, but woooow, what if I didn't have pain shooting down my legs? What if I didn't grind my teeth to powder if I had to sit down? What if I could dance, teach zumba again...
Now, the good thing about the denial is that I've pushed myself to do things like triathlons, half marathons, become a zumba instructor, be a ballroom dancer, a muralist, etc that I dont' know if I'd have done if I had been 'disabled' in my mind.
Numb toes and grating pain are all the time, but the empowerment of finishing a race, the exhilleration of dancing... I CRAVE them. I know part of that is because I'm 'proving' I'm not a hypochondriac or a self-indulgent drama queen to the nasty voices in my head, but at least the dancing is for real. Triathlons and 10ks are more of a self-dare.
I have learned that barring a level 9 or worse pain, I can detach from my body and make myself do anything.
I may have to pay for it later, and it's gotten worse since having kids: hard pregnancies and labors, and my life and time being about my sweet little manlings and not about me- but I'm the one who pushed to have so many so fast, I wanted them so bad and, like I said, was rather in denial about my back issues. I'd just been so ambitious about being a mom since I was about 13, and have bent my life's study to being awesome at it. Bites now that I rather stink at it because I'm always at the end of my rope and tired and hurt; might have been easier if I hadn't been so ambitious, studied and practiced so much.
I just feel so worthless. I wish I could shrink until I disappeared, but there's no way to do that without making life even worse for my kids and hubby.
I hate feeling the inequality of my marriage, and how little I can do with my boys.
Please help, I don't even know what I need, just please help with anything you can suggest. I'm so 'new' to all of this, that letter at the top of the Chronic Pain thread was the most validating thing I've ever read.
Thank you for reading all of this, thank your for your time.